Rocky man had honour of being first patient in Cancer Centre

Patient Steve Hammermeister (above) is Rockhampton Hospital Cancer Centre's first patient.
Patient Steve Hammermeister (above) is Rockhampton Hospital Cancer Centre's first patient.

ROCKHAMPTON Hospital's new Cancer Centre is up and running this week, with the first patients taking advantage of new cancer and palliative care services.

Patient Steve Hammermeister (pictured) had the honour of being the first treated in the Cancer Day Therapy Centre, and he was most impressed with the easy access to his chemotherapy treatment.

"The best thing is being able to be dropped right at the front. It's nice to have a fresh new area, but the front drop-off area is the best thing for me, it made it so much easier," he said.

Steve is in his third month of chemotherapy, which means four to five hours at a time for five days straight, so the modern and spacious surroundings of the new cancer centre are very welcome.

Rockhampton Hospital Executive Director Dan Bergin said the centre was a vast improvement on the previous cancer and specialist palliative care service.

"Our new centre doubles capacity for chemotherapy, with 12 chairs and two day-beds, up from the six chairs we had previously," he said.

"The growing demand on cancer services is undeniable and this new centre allows our professional and dedicated staff a contemporary and much nicer environment to care for their patients."

Radiation oncology services will be provided from the new centre from 2016 after the installation of hi-tech linear accelerators.

Construction on the hospital's rooftop helipad is nearing completion, with commissioning and testing starting soon and the first flights expected by early August.

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